Mathews Inc.

Arizona Elk Live

September 14-23

Day 8

Morning Hunt

The hunt has flown by and is quickly coming to an end. That late-hunt pressure is setting in and we are spending more time choosing where to go. Unfortunately, we picked wrong this morning. We hunted the area we always got into elk, but not today. We never heard a bugle for the first 90 minutes. We stopped at least a dozen times to listen, and to bugle - nothing. We heard one bugle, way off in the distance, and one bugle late in the morning that we moved on but the bull never responded and vanished. It was our slowest morning yet. By 11 AM it was 79 degrees. So much for the cold front.


Afternoon Hunt

Steven and I went to the area we hunted on Day 6. We got there early and listened for bugles in several areas. Nothing. It was getting late, and the sun was starting to set, so Steven suggested we just still-hunt a draw with lush meadows. We both knew it was a long-shot but we had no other options. We walked about a half mile. I told Steven I had to take a leak. While I was relieving myself Steven called and a bull screamed back. He was less than 200 yards from us. I couldn't finish fast enough and we both raced toward the bugle.

We spotted the body of an elk walking toward us in a meadow. We were both glassing but neither of us could see his antlers. Steven bugled, and the bull screamed back. But instead of heading to us, he turned back to push his cows off. For a split second I got a good look at him. He was the biggest bull I've seen yet, likely 340+ and a definite shooter. Unfortunately, he pushed his cows into the trees and they headed away from us. We moved quickly to get in front of them. We just didn't go quite wide enough. After 30 minutes of cat and mouse, they busted. He was a very good bull.

Camp is dwindling. Shane is the only bowhunter to tag a bull so far - or even get a shot. Eric left yesterday and Rick's last day was today. Eric had a shot and both passed on bulls. Scott extended his trip so it's just him and I for the next two days. Steven gave me the option of extending my trip, and I'm tempted, but work and family commitments make that decision a difficult one. Hopefully I can get it done in the next two days.

Both Steven and I are optimistic. We are going to push it hard for the next two days. Steven is a machine, he never gets tired or discouraged. Plus he's got a dark, twisted sense of humor that compliments mine. The elk are more stubborn that we expected but I'm having a blast. This hunt has been a complete success.


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